Tanzanian President John Magufuli (R) meets with his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame at State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.(Xinhua)
INTERNATIONAL -Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Thursday urged former African leaders to take the front seat toward the protection and development of the continent's vast resources for the benefit of its people.

A statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communication said Magufuli appealed to the former leaders to understand that the continent's resources could play a major role toward economic emancipation.

Magufuli made the appeal when speaking at a meeting convened at State House by the African Leadership Forum that brings together former African leaders for open and frank discussion about the challenges facing the continent.

The 6th African Leadership Forum brought together former presidents of Tanzania, South Africa, Somalia and Madagascar, said the statement.

"After African countries had gained political independence, the focus now should be attaining economic independence through good management of our resources, especially natural resources," said Magufuli.

He said dependence on foreign donors and lack of technology needed to drive the industrialization agenda to add value to products were some of the reasons that were holding the African continent back.

Magufuli said the theme of the forum: Improving Good Management of Natural Resources Toward Socio-Economic Reforms in Africa was timely because it reinforced the need to exploit the continent's resources for the benefit of its people.

He said Tanzania had taken a number of measures aimed at protecting its natural resources for the benefit of its people.

Magufuli mentioned some of the measures as amendments of mining laws, control over degradation of natural resources and a thrust toward the construction of industries.